Green construction in Florida hits milestone

December 21, 2012

While many people immediately think of Massachusetts and California as hubs for green energy and sustainable construction practices, Florida is also making its mark. The South Florida Business Journal reports that South Florida now has at least 200 building projects that have been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Because not all projects are publicly disclosed, there are probably more than 200. However, the news source was only able to confirm that the 200 mark had been reached as of November 2012. According to the news source, 61 green energy projects achieved LEED certified this year – the biggest one-year total so far.

The lucky number 200 was The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. The Sun Sentinel reports that the 100,000-square-foot building includes a laboratory and office building at Florida Atlantic University's campus in Jupiter, Florida. The structure received a gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

"We applaud the companies, owners, municipalities and everyone who played even a small part in this effort to deliver environmentally responsible, healthy and resource-efficient buildings in 2012 and prior," local chapter president Paul Carty said in a statement, according to the news source. "It's unquestionably the right thing to do for the communities in which we live, work and play."

Florida was initially slow to jump on the green construction bandwagon. The South Florida Business Journal reports that the state achieved its first LEED-certified building in 2009. However, since then, the market has grown by leaps and bounds.

Paul Carty, president of the local U.S. Green Building Council chapter, said in a news release that he applauds the companies who drove the new projects. "It's unquestionably the right thing to do for the communities in which we live, work and play."

Programs that serve to encourage the adoption of green building policies can be found in almost every state in the nation. For example, outside of Florida, the U.S. Department of Energy established the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) to serve the state of Pennsylvania. The agency was intended as an Energy-Regional Innovation Center, which works to promote local commercial property owners adoption of sustainable technology.